Marleau bill would name Monarch butterfly the state insect

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LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jim Marleau has introduced legislation that would make the Monarch butterfly Michigan’s official state insect.

Marleau said he authored Senate Bill 812 in part at the encouragement of Keego Harbor Elementary School children, who brought the issue before the Keego Harbor City Council, and Karen Meabrod of Keego Harbor, who along with her husband Dudley have been raising Monarchs since 1992.

“Karen Meabrod and the students of Keego Harbor Elementary School are passionate about making the Monarch butterfly our state insect,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “I share in that passion. This beautiful butterfly is widely recognized throughout the state, and butterfly enthusiasts come to Michigan every year to follow their migration.

“Michigan is one of only three states without an official state insect. It is time to remedy that and designate the Monarch butterfly with that honor.”

Marleau said the Monarch butterfly relies on milkweed for its life cycle. Michigan used to have an abundance of milkweed, and recent efforts have been underway to reestablish milkweed habitat, spanning from Mackinac Island, to the Lake Michigan lakeshore, to communities in Oakland County.

“With the regrowth of milkweed and the Monarch butterflies that are drawn to it, Michigan can again be a sanctuary for these butterflies,” Marleau said. “By establishing the Monarch butterfly as the official state insect we can raise awareness for their diminishing habitat so residents and tourists alike can watch these stunning creatures as they migrate through Michigan.”

SB 812 has been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee.